From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

Category: Administration (page 1 of 6)

2nd Time Around for 2nd year students: Dorm Rule in the 60s

Novice Fawcett

Novice Fawcett

The requirement for sophomores to live in dorms went into effect this semester, but it’s not the first time second-year students have been told they have to live on campus.  In early 1965 President
Novice Fawcett enforced a rule stating that “unmarried freshman and sophomores under twenty-one years of age who do not live with their parents or close relatives are required to reside in University-owned residence halls.”  The rule was set to take effect in 1967.

This rule had originally come about in April 1958 when large amounts of money was raised by issuing bonds to pay for a large number of new residence halls.  The sophomore dorm rule was a way to maintain full occupancy in the new residence halls and ensure bond holders their money would be paid back.  Until the recommendation in 1965, the rule had never been enforced, likely due to high rates of occupancy in the residence halls.

Although the number dorm rooms in the mid-’60s met the demands of the current student body, the residence hall capacity was expected to increase.  Vice President Gordon B. Carson stated with these new openings, “it would be wise and prudent to reaffirm the Board of Trustees’ resolution.”

Construction of Towers, 1966

Construction of Towers, 1966

Students and politicians alike opposed the 1965 rule. Adversaries pointed out that there is a greater cost to living in dormitories.  They, including Robert Shaw, a Republican state senator of Ohio, believed that forcing students to remain in dorms for two years would prevent those with insufficient funds from attending the university and was therefore discriminatory.

Students, alumni and community members thought that it was not the job of the university to decide on living quarters; there should be freedom of choice.  Furthermore, students believed the reason for the enactment was a money-making scheme.

Regardless, the rule was enforced in the autumn of 1968 and remained in effect until 1976.  Throughout this period, sophomores could have a waiver signed by their parents allowing them to live off-campus.  The accessibility of the waivers fluctuated throughout

Lantern Headline, 1972

Lantern Headline, 1972

the eight-year period, with the most liberal period toward the end of dorm rule.  Waivers were given out so frequently that sophomores were able to choose if they wanted to live on or off campus and thus made the dorm rule obsolete.

The fight against dorm rule was part of a larger movement on campus led by students to have their voices heard by the administration.  You can learn more about the student movements on our Spring of Dissent exhibit  and Bill Shkurti’s new book The Ohio State University in the Sixties: The Unraveling of the Old Order.

Twelve Days: Kleberg’s true colors shine through as a donor

(In celebration of the University Archives’ upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2015, we bring you “The Twelve Days of Buckeyes.” This is day 10 in a series of 12 blog posts highlighting the people who were instrumental in the creation and growth of the Archives.)

John Kleberg with the scarlet and gray ribbons, 1989

John Kleberg with the scarlet and gray ribbons, 1989

There is nothing more synonymous with being a Buckeye than the colors Scarlet and Gray. And the person Buckeyes can thank for preserving the earliest beginnings of those OSU colors is John Kleberg.

First, a little background on Kleberg: He came to OSU in 1973 as associate director of Public Safety, taking charge of the operations side of the Campus Police unit. In 1981, he was appointed as director of the University’s internal audit unit in the Office of Business and Finance.

Although his background is in law enforcement, he has been heavily involved in preserving OSU history since his retirement in 2000 as assistant vice president of Business and Finance. (He returned in 2001 as Special Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs.) For instance, he’s served on the committee that coordinated the program to record, preserve and restore works of art on campus. He’s also spent much of his university-related time after retirement in raising money and awareness for the historic Cooke Castle on Gibraltar Island in Put-in-Bay.

Cooke Castle was built by Jay Cooke, the Civil War financier who bought Gibraltar Island in 1864. There, the family entertained such dignitaries as Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, President Rutherford B. Hayes and General William Tecumseh Sherman. In 1925, Cooke’s daughter, Laura Barney, sold Gibraltar Island to then-OSU Board of Trustees member, Julius Stone, who immediately donated the property to the University to house a lake research facility that would become Stone Lab.

Cooke Castle, 2001

Cooke Castle, 2001

Kleberg has worked tirelessly to restore the historic Cooke Castle, and in fact, with his help, the first floor of the Castle, which had been closed for a number of years, is now open to the public at certain times. The Archives also has benefited from Kleberg’s interest in Cooke Castle; three years ago, he gave us a number of materials he’d gathered on Jay Cooke.

Kleberg has given a myriad of items to the Archives over the years. They often represent the more mundane history of a large educational institution – an old class microscope he picked up at a University surplus auction or two police badges from the Department of Public Safety.

Then, there was the truly one-of-a-kind historical artifact he donated that makes him a standout among donors: the original scarlet-and-gray ribbons that adorned the diplomas of the first graduating class in 1878.

Original scarlet and gray ribbons

The original scarlet and gray ribbons

When it was almost time for Commencement that year, the class assigned a committee of three to pick out a pair of sample ribbons to determine which color of ribbons would be tied around the diplomas. The original pair of scarlet-and-gray ribbons they chose were cut into three parts, and a section was given to each committee member as a memento. Years later, one of the members – Curtis Howard – found his and presented them to the University in a frame with a letter attached to the back explaining their significance. They were hung in Sullivant Hall, but as sometimes unfortunately happens, the framed ribbons went missing at one point.

In the late 1980s, a gentleman identifying himself only as an attorney representing an estate in Florida, showed up in Kleberg’s office with the ribbons and some documentation. Kleberg did some subsequent research and determined they were most probably part of the original ribbons. And then, he made sure they made it to the Archives.

Without his dedication to preserving OSU history, those ribbons may have ended up in Kleberg’s wastepaper basket, and Buckeyes would not have these priceless reminders of how we became so devoted to Scarlet and Gray. So for all his contributions to OSU, we give him a hearty thanks from the Archives!

Twelve Days: Thanks to Studer, Archives finds a permanent home

(In celebration of the University Archives’ upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2015, we bring you “The Twelve Days of Buckeyes”. This is day six in a series of 12 blog posts highlighting the people who were instrumental in the creation and growth of the Archives.)

William Studer, 1986

William Studer, 1986

Until 1978, the Archives did not have a department or unit on campus to call its own. When Bruce Harding, the first professional archivist, was hired in 1965, he reported to the Secretary of the Board of Trustees, then to the Vice President of Educational Services.

In 1978, though, the Archives was reassigned to the Libraries, which was then led by William Studer, director from 1977 to 1999. It made sense: Both entities held a mission of acquiring, preserving and making available information. That year, the Archives joined the Special Collections section of the Libraries.

Archives stacks in Converse Hall, 1980s

The Archives stacks in Converse Hall, 1980s

It turns out that Studer had been a long-time fan of special collections like the Archives, understanding the importance they have in any academic library setting. In a 2011 oral history interview, he said “Special collections, in my view, significantly define a research library and its mission to support research and scholarship.”

(The University Archives is not the only collection added to the Libraries under Studer’s leadership; the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum was founded in 1977, and the Byrd Polar Research Center Archival Program became part of the Libraries’ special collections in 1985.)

As part of the Libraries, the Archives could be protected in times of fiscal leanness, but it would also benefit from more robust budgets, such as in 1980 when the Libraries doubled the Archives’ operating budget and added an assistant archivist.

University Archives/Library Book Depository Building, 1996

University Archives/Library Book Depository Building, 1996

Depository stacks, 1996

Depository stacks, 1996

A key turning point was when the Archives moved in 1995 to the Book Depository on Kenny Road. The Archives had been housed in makeshift facilities, located most recently in Converse Hall, where the ROTC program is housed. (One of the Archives’ reference rooms sat next to a shooting range, not exactly a winning combination.)

Under Studer’s leadership, the plans were adjusted for the building so that reference rooms and office space could be added for the Archives, while its collections shared warehouse space in back of the building with the Book Depository materials.

“I was obviously committed to the University Archives and wanted to make something of it, without realizing fully what it could and would become, wanted to make it something much more than it was. And part of this involved adequate housing,” he said in the oral history interview.

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